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Anxiety in dogs is a relatively familiar concern that has besieged the poor animals and their worried owners alike. Unfortunately, unlike their human counterpart, dogs cannot articulate these fears and can only express themselves through harmful and destructive behavior. Because of unreasonable and very often gripping dog fears, many of the victims dig through walls and floors until they are bleeding in an attempt to get away from their source of fear.
One of the most common of these phobias is the fear of thunderstorms. If this is your pet, consult with your veterinarian as to how to treat your dog best. There are many pharmaceutical medications available that will help your dog deal with this; however, it must be noted that these medications will not cure the phobia. Usually, these will only serve to sedate and calm your dog.
Because drugs and ingested chemicals may be harmful to the dog’s system, it is best to work with natural methods first. This article will discuss various methods you can try on how to treat dog fears without using medicine.
An easy way to calm anxiety in dogs is to play relaxing music, more specifically harp music. It has been scientifically proven that music therapy has tremendously helped human beings reduce stress levels; and studies have shown the same results in animals. After playing 10-20 minutes of gentle and soothing music, the canine will be in a more relaxed state.
Applying a body wrap to dogs have been said to also help dispel the nervous energy in the animal. The constant and maintained pressure that the wrap lends quiets the nerve receptors of the restless canine. You can use T-shirts or any stretch fabrics to hug the dog’s torso firmly in place. Bind the dog before he tenses up so he will not associate the wrap with the phobia.
A technique used by many dog behaviorists is counter conditioning. This is the method that attempts to counteract the feared circumstance by displacing it with another situation that generally gets a favorable response from the dog. If you are able to simulate a thunderstorm scenario, the rumbling of the supposed storm should begin very softly. As you subtly increase the volume, give the dog delicious treats to distract him.
If these do not work, a natural supplement that improves this phobia is melatonin. Melatonin is an over the counter medication people use to treat insomnia. When the proper dosage is administered to the canine, he remains awake but has distinctly stopped being fearful. Be aware though, that there are differing manufacturers so the quality and dosage one should mete out will differ. Consult your veterinarian before you proceed.
The degree by which the fear of thunderstorms in dogs will manifest varies. Some say that street dogs or rescued dogs are more likely to be traumatized by irrational and often, difficult to deal with phobias. Visit the vet for regular check-ups so you have an accurate diagnosis of the problem that besets your dog.